Vietnamese racing team performs better in Asian rally's second round

By Minh Quan   November 28, 2022 | 09:00 pm PT
Aka Racing ranked 11th in the second round of laps in Thailand, before beginning the loop in Cambodia last week.

In the second round of the Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) 2022, 31 teams competed for the top spot.

The second round was only 120 km long, but the first 80 km part and the last 30 km coincided with the fifth and first rounds, respectively.

Teams had to run parallel to the ditch and cross the rubber forest. The surface of the second round was less rough with fewer stones than the first round, but there were more potholes.

Aka Racing team passes the sharp turns along the road ditch. Photo by Minh Quan

Aka Racing team makes a sharp turn along the road ditch. Photo by Minh Quan

For the harsh terrain in the second round, the Mitsubishi Triton allows stable and flexible operation at 20 km/h speed on rocky, sandy, and muddy surfaces and 140 km/h on flat roads.

According to Tran Cong Phat, the main driver, Triton is equipped with a Super Select 4WD-II gearbox that makes the car more stable when making sharp turns and passing quickly.

The gearbox also allows the car to switch from two-wheel drive (2H) to four-wheel drive (4H) or off-road mode (4HLc, 4LLc) even when it is driving at speeds of more than 100 km/h.

The Super Select II gearbox has a center differential lock that helps the car run steadily and prevents power losses.

The Super Select II gearbox's advantage makes the car more agile, while some teams using Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger Raptor, and Toyota Hilux TRD have to slow down when making sharp turns.

Besides, a new aluminum alloy block 2.4-liter MIVEC Turbo Diesel Engine produces 178 horsepower and 430 Nm of torque.

The weight distribution ratio was another crucial factor in the race. Two Thai teams, Raptor Team Thailand and Nexzter Rest Club, both ran off track and flipped over in the second round.

The Toyota Hilux TRD used by Team Modellishta (Thailand) had several parts replaced and the rear barrel removed in order to reduce weight.

One advantage of the Triton is its light weight, good distribution ratio, and short wheelbase, which enables the car to speed up or make sharp turns more stably and flexibly. This also aids in preventing the suspension system from being damaged on rough roads.

The third round's terrain was highly challenging and muddy, making it very harsh. This round was tougher than the previous two when deep pits covered 70% of the road surface.

A lot of cars suffered breakdowns and did not finish when crossing the track without slowing down.

On the eve of the third round, Aka Racing's logistics team replaced four tires with Toyo Open Country Mud Terrain, a tire designed specifically for muddy roads that improve grip and reduce slipperiness at the bends or on muddy straight roads.

In addition to the muddy road, there's the rubber forest terrain. The road width through the rubber forest was extremely narrow, and the bends were just right on the car's body.

The race's route follows the border between Thailand and Cambodia. At the end of the laps in Thailand, Aka Racing ranked 12th overall with a record of 7 hours, 53 minutes, and 43 seconds after finishing 11th in the second round of laps, out of a total of 31 competitors.

The top team was the Mitsubishi Ralliart team (Japan) with a record of 6 hours, 41 minutes, and 50 seconds. Isuzu Suphan (Thailand) was relegated to the 14th position.

On November 26, the teams raced the last part around Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and then awarded prizes.

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